E-commerce business is a consuming undertaking. Launching, building, and running one demands so much, whether your dollars, time, or emotions.
At the same time, the e-commerce space is getting fiercely competitive. There is increased pressure for your e-commerce venture to survive in a brutal space. So it’s natural that many e-commerce owners are turning to conversion optimization experts to look into how they can increase conversion rates.
It’s all about getting the customers doing the right things on the site. This is the essence of an e-commerce business because of the direct impact it has on your revenue. This post looks at the tactics that can drive your conversion rates, boost your sales and help you blow the competition out of the water.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
Also known as CRO, conversion rate optimization refers to techniques used to increase the number of visitors who take a certain wanted action on your website. These wanted actions can be anything from clicking on ‘add to cart,’ filling a form, subscribing for a service, or buying a product.
Grasping eCommerce Conversion Rates
Making sense of e-commerce conversion rates need you to understand a crucial number – the denominator. Ask yourself – do you want to divide your sales number with visitor sessions or with unique visitors?
Google defines e-commerce conversion rate as dividing your transactions with sessions and then expressing it as a percentage. So, if you have one transaction every ten sessions, that works out to an e-commerce conversion rate of 10 percent.
In one short sentence
Conversion Rate = Number of Sales / Number of Visits
How to tell a Good Ecommerce Conversion Rate
Ecommerce conversion rates are not all made equal. A great rate for one industry may be absurdly low for another industry—for example, the baby and child market vs the electronics market.
Ecommerce conversion rates do not only vary with industry but also with seasons, nations, and devices.
With all that said, a reasonable e-commerce conversion rate shouldn’t dip lower than the market average after taking account of other factors like natural disasters, etc. An average rate of 2 to 4 percent is also deemed to be fine. Also, if your conversion rate gets better than before, that may signal an improving rate.
Why Conversion Rate Optimization is Critical for You
Conversion Rate Optimization can bring tons of benefits to your website, such as the following:
Pay Per Click Costs are Soaring: the high demand for pay per click platform such as Google AdWords is driving up its price. This is locking out many startups or small businesses that used to rely on it. It gets tricky still when clicks don’t always convert to sales. So PPC ad budgets are going up yet conversions are on their way down. This makes conversion rate optimization essential because it maximizes clicks while making those clicks pay for themselves.
High Costs of Digital Marketing; costs are going up for just about all digital marketing plus TV and print marketing. Conversion Rate Optimization is superbly suited for this situation because while marketing brings users to the store, Conversion Rate Optimization ensures that most of those prospects are making purchases. This is a perfect way to stave off the rising costs.
Dealing with Shortening Attention Spans
Today’s consumers don’t have as long an attention span as earlier generations. The average user has no patience especially if they can’t quickly find what they want from your site. Conversion Rate Optimization is perfectly designed to deal with this. E-commerce owners can now draw more of the customers’ attention with Conversion Rate Optimization.
Improve Your Homepage: first impressions matter, and homepages are the place where users get the first look at you. They often determine for the visitor whether looking further into the site is worth the time.
Ways to Enhance Your E-commerce Conversion Rates
Display High-Quality Images and Video on Your Product Pages: Most people are reluctant to buy anything unless they can see it. They even want to hold, touch or feel it. For online stores, the next best thing is images or video. However, too many websites feature low-quality images or videos. Users however are paying attention to such details and are evaluating your business based on them. Steer clear of cheesy stock photos. It can cause a poor image for your site and affect user perception of what you have to offer. Ideally, your images should be HD and be neither too small nor too big. You can also consider adding 360-degree rotating images where appropriate. This alone can phenomenally drive up your conversion rates.
Create Unique Landing Pages for Unique Customer Segments: Landing pages are your tools for deploying CTAs that lead to selling your product or service. They should be as distraction-free as possible to help you to hit high conversion rates.
Offer Free Shipping: there is no question that free shipping will ramp your conversion rates for your e-commerce site. For example, Red Door had a 90 percent increase in orders by adding free shipping to Nuface. Free shipping can therefore contribute to more engagement and higher conversions.
Is Your CTA Standing Out?: CTAs or Call-To-Actions are a great tool to have for better conversion rates. They cut to the chase for the visitor who is impatient or is in a hurry. Also, when people linger for too long thinking of a buying decision, the chances are that they will become distracted or will change their minds. Make your CTAs stand out clearly so that the prospect can easily click and buy.
Leverage Your Social Proof with Testimonials: Social proof is one of the most persuasive tools for promoting your site. When people make online decisions such as purchases, they can be stressed or nervous about it. A smart conversion optimization tactic should aim to put the buyers at ease. Nothing converts better than a happy, confident buyer. Social proof and testimonials, especially from friends or relatives, make it easy for visitors to make that next move with boldness. Social proof plays into our nature as social beings. We crave to fit in and don’t want to be left out. So, the recommendations and endorsements by others we respect can carry lots of influence in moving us to our own decisions.
Provide Limited Time Coupon Codes: Indecision or hesitation can be a great enemy to getting increased conversion rates. However, with the innovative use of deadlines, you can beat these by creating urgency. Coupon codes set to expire after a limited time can persuade prospects to use them out of fear of losing out of a good deal.
Pick the Right Price Strategy: right pricing can turn around your conversion rates. For example, it has been shown that price figures with a nine at the end have persuasive psychological power, moving buyers to their wallets. Font size is also effective so try to display your prices with large fonts rather than smaller ones. A price display with both a big font and ending in 9 has the combined power of both. Anchoring is another price strategy that sets a baseline value. You can cause an increase in buyer perception of value by offerings such as this example:
Basic: $295, Pro: $495, Enterprise: $995
Mobile-Friendly: This is 2021, so why isn’t your site optimized for mobile? Mobile is so much baked into our society and mainstream culture. Indeed, there are now more smartphones and tablets than desktops, even for those who go online. So, to make sure your visitors don’t feel handicapped online, your site must be as mobile-friendly as possible. You can ensure that your site is mobile responsive through A/B testing.
Set up A/B tests: A/B testing is where you are pitting two versions of the same web page or email against each other and evaluate their performance. By handing each version to two different groups, you can test and see which version will edge out the other. The outcome can be essential to shaping decisions regarding email copy, web pages, or other assets.
Optimize Your Site Speed:
Netizens aren’t the most patient people in the world! They aren’t also all that forgiving. So your site absolutely needs to be zippy fast. Slower loading pages will put off your visitors, making them head for the back button and perhaps a complete exit from your site. With that, your conversion rate will collapse. FastCompany estimates that online retail merchants lose $1.6 billion annually for every second your page delays loading.
Include Live Chat Support: Live chat is a real game-changer to users previously used to have – phone and email. Unlike the latter, live chat offers instant direct interaction. (phones can turn into a game of waiting for prompts and being asked to press numbers which can be annoying). When user’s inquiries can be answered promptly like these, a likely bounce can turn into a purchase or other desired action. That will lead directly to impressive conversion rates.
Offer Checkouts that are Simple and Fast: the conversion rate connected to the checkout process is probably the most crucial. After all, this is the page where the rubber meets the road – where your revenue pours in. Tiny increases in the conversion rate of even 1 percent can bring a huge inflow to your dollars. Imagine the overwhelming setback if your site converts impressively at all initial stages, only for the user to flee at the checkout stage because of slow loading. All your good work will have been wasted.
So, your conversion rate optimization agency should make sure that the checkout process is designed to be as user friendly as possible. This process is the stage that follows after the customer has filled his shopping cart with his desired items. It includes filling in shipping details, coupon codes where available, providing payment information, and making confirmation of making the payment.
Ignoring conversion rate optimization can be tragic for your e-commerce retail store. In such a competitive space, you only need to blink, and then exits, canceled orders, etc. will start to pour in.
Not every conversion optimization tactic on its own can guarantee increased conversion rates. But their combined implementation is a virtual guarantee that your conversion rates and sales will soar, helping you speed your way to a blowout revenue or profit numbers.
Navi Kang is a 3x entrepreneur and the founder of Northpeak, a growth marketing and conversion rate optimization firm with a data & design-first approach. Prior to Northpeak, Navi was helping startups with growth as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) at an early-stage venture capital firm in the Midwest. Navi is currently focused on helping mission-driven leaders and companies create world-class user experiences that increase revenue and ROI. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.